Indexed on: 24 Sep '13Published on: 24 Sep '13Published in: Progress in community health partnerships : research, education, and action
A rural community-academic partnership was developed in 1997 between the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center (ESAHEC) and the University of Maryland School of Medicine's (UMSOM) Office of Policy and Planning (OPP). The model supports partnered research, bidirectional interactions, and community and health professional education.The primary aim was to develop a sustainable community-academic partnership that addressed health and social issues on the rural Eastern Shore.Mutual respect and trust led to sustained, bidirectional interactions and communication. Community and academic partner empowerment were supported by shared grant funds. Continual refinement of the partnership and programs occurred in response to community input and qualitative and quantitative research.The partnership led to community empowerment, increased willingness to participate in clinical trials and biospecimen donation, leveraged grant funds, partnered research, and policies to support health and social interventions.This partnership model has significant benefits and demonstrates its relevance for addressing complex rural health issues. Innovative aspects of the model include shared university grants, community inclusion on research protocols, bidirectional research planning and research ethics training of partners and communities. The model is replicable in other rural areas of the United States.